The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) announced their 2021 lineup for VIFF Immersed, a showcase of the power of XR technology as a dynamic vehicle for storytelling — Immersed International Competition and Exhibition, Oct. 1–11 and Immersed XR Market, Oct. 4–5 — and VIFF AMP, an exploration of the essential role of music in film, Oct. 8–10.

VIFF Immersed content will be available for free across Canada and internationally via online XR platforms, with panel sessions presented on YouTube. Highlights include the Canadian premiere of Namoo by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Erick Oh, an homage to his grandfather that follows the meaningful moments of one man’s life from beginning to end; the North American premiere of Symphony VR by Igor Cortadellas, an immersive experience of emotion and music guided by Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel in which spectators enter the interior of an instrument and feel like musicians in an orchestra; the Canadian premiere of The Passengers: The Kid by Ziad Touma, an interactive journey about strangers on a train (the film’s original prototype was shot on BC Rail); and the BC premiere of Inside COVID19 by Gary Yost. Nominated for a 2021 Emmy award for Outstanding Interactive Program, Yost’s documentary humanizes a global pandemic and follows Dr. Josiah Child as he fights for his patients and his own life after contracting the virus.

Multi-platinum record producer and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Linda Perry will officially launch AMP with her keynote session — a one-on-one conversation between Perry and Producers Lounge creative director Jane Aurora. During the past three decades, Perry has established herself as one of the most successful songwriters and producers in the rock and pop realms, penning megahits for P!nk (Get This Party Started), Christina Aguilera (Beautiful), Gwen Stefani (What You Waiting For?), and collaborating with Dolly Parton, Alicia Keys, Brandi Carlile, Celine Dion, and dozens more. Recently, Perry expanded her credentials by venturing into film and television composing with Citizen PennPunky Brewster, and Kid 90.

Five-time Emmy-winning composer Laura Karpman will close the weekend with her keynote event, a discussion about music and culture with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Angela Elster. Karpman’s music is on the cutting edge of various musical genres (symphonic music, opera, jazz, and pop) and she has been one of the leaders in the fight for greater diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry. Karpman collaborates with some of the most creative filmmakers of our time: Misha Green, Steven Spielberg, Alex Gibney, Kasi Lemmons, Rory Kennedy, Sam Pollard, Laura Nix, Francis Ford Coppola, and Sofia Coppola. The five-time Emmy winner’s scores include the HBO hit series Lovecraft Country — for which she recently received a 2021 Emmy nomination — and the Discovery Channel’s documentary series Why We Hate. Her animated work includes Netflix’s Sitara. Her scores for interactive media include Guardians of Middle EarthEverquest 2Kung Fu Panda 2Project SparkKinect Disneyland Adventures, and Untold Legends Dark Kingdom.

Additional highlights include “Stages to Screens: The Sequel,” hosted by Tarun Nayar (Delhi 2 Dublin, Snakes x Ladders, 5X Festival) and featuring composers and producers who will share their experiences on how they successfully made the crossover from the pop world to working in music for media: Dean “DC” Charles (The BoondocksCSI: Miami); DJ Dan “The Automator” Nakamura (BooksmartAlways Be My Maybe); and Isa Summers (Little Fires Everywhere). “The Art of Music Supervision: Theatrical Trailers” will bring together three of the top talents in the business of theatrical trailer music supervision: Brian Vickers, Music Supervisor, Walt Disney Studios; Reuben Sears, SVP, Trailers and Promos, SILO Music; and Evelin Garcia, Music Director, Wild Card Creative Group. Music BC’s SOUNDOFF session will see local musicians perform to a panel of leading industry music supervisors.

The following complete lineup will take place online and in-person.

VIFF Immersed program supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada

VIFF Immersed Exhibition | Oct. 1–11
Curated by StoryTech® Immersive
Immerse yourself in exceptional VR and AR story-driven content from around the globe at the VIFF Immersed Exhibition, available to experience for free across VeeR, Museum of Other Realities, Oculus TV, rad., YouTube 360, Kreis Immersive and Facebook 360. Included in the exhibition are the finalists from the International VIFF Immersed Competition as well as a showcase of content produced in the creative nexus that is BC, home to the second largest XR ecosystem in the world.

Baba Yaga dir. Eric Darnell (USA) | Canadian Premiere
Beat dir. Keisuke Itoh (Japan) | Canadian Premiere
Namoo dir. Erick Oh (USA) | Canadian Premiere
The Passengers: The Kid dir. Ziad Touma (Canada) | Canadian Premiere
Red Eyes dir. Sngmoo Lee (South Korea) | North American Premiere
Uku Pacha dir. Diego Bonilla (Ecuador) | World Premiere
Hydrocosmos dir. Milad Tangshir (Italy) | North American Premiere
Symphony VR dir. Igor Cortadellas (Spain) | North American Premiere
Inside COVID19 dir. Gary Yost (USA) | BC Premiere
Don’t Forget Me dir. Ken Winikur (USA) | BC Premiere
Mission to Mars dirs. Piotr Baczyński, Bartosz Rosłoński (USA) | North American Premiere
Crime Door: The Delphi Murders dir. Neil Mandt (USA) | World Premiere
A New Normal dir. Asavari Kumar (India/USA) | World Premiere
Chord VR dir. Ryan Atimoyoo (Canada) | Canadian Premiere | BC Showcase
Awaken the Giants: Sinisteria & Shrek dirs. Juliana Loh, Nicholas Liang (Canada) | World Premiere | BC Showcase
Jingle Ville dirs. Juliana Loh, Nicholas Liang (Canada) | World Premiere | BC Showcase

VIFF Immersed XR Market | Oct. 4–5
Presented by the Canada Media Fund
Community Broadcast Partner TELUS
Produced by Artizen

The VIFF Immersed XR Market connects top XR creators and industry leaders with their colleagues from around the globe; the aim is to foster production, financing, and distribution of story-driven immersive content. Hosted at the Museum of Other Realities, the Market features a showcase of live-action, documentary, and animated VR/AR content from the next wave of XR creators. Selected artists are given the opportunity to pitch their projects in front of investors, distributors, producers, and curators, as well as compete for the VIFF Immersed Grant.

Alternates (Bergantian) dir. Jonathan Hagard (Japan/Indonesia/Germany)
Astropark VR dir. Juan Manuel Codó (Argentina)
Astroport dir. Pierre “Pyaré” Friquet (Canada)
Broken Spectre dir. Evan Jones (Canada)
Call Me Calamity dir. Samuel Lepoil (France)
Continuum VR dir. Tomas Espinosa (Colombia)
Cosmonaut dir. Daniel Barbedillo
Holocaust – Abstrakt dir. Michael Liebe (Canada)
I am more afraid of climate change than I am of prison dir. Nim Shapira (USA)
Love & Remembrance – Mixed Reality Museum dir. Emilia Yang (Canada)
Lunatic dir. Palina Kamarova (Poland)
Memory Place dir. Zeynep Abes (Turkey)
Miskatonic VR dir. Reanna Cameron (Canada)
Nowhere Left To Go dir. Patricia Echeverria (USA/Spain)
Rabiola Tales dir. Leonardo Souza (Brazil)
The World Beyond dir. Takuro Ando (Japan)

VIFF AMP Music in Film Summit
Supported by Creative BC, FACTOR Canada, and Music BC
Community Broadcast Partner TELUS

Oct. 8–10 | In-person at the VIFF Centre (1181 Seymour St.) and live-streamed via VIFF Connect

AMP Opening Keynote | Friday, Oct. 8, 2pm PDT
Linda Perry, Grammy, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice Award-nominated producer, Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, Composer
Moderator: Jane Aurora, Producer, Musician, and Mix Engineer, Arrival Sounds

VIFF AMP Artist Showcase | Saturday, Oct. 9 & Sunday, Oct. 10
Presented by Factor
The VIFF AMP Showcase provides an opportunity for Canadian artists to perform in front of an audience of local and international music supervisors, composers, sync agents and film and music industry delegates.

AMP’s Stages to Screens: The Sequel | Saturday, Oct. 9, 2pm PDT
Dean “DC” Charles, Composer, Producer, The BoondocksCSI: Miami
Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, Producer, composer, engineer, and DJ, Booksmart and Always Be My Maybe
Isabella “The Machine” Summers, Songwriter / Composer, Little Fires EverywherePhysicalSex/Life
Moderator: Tarun Nayar, Manager/Artist, Snakes X Ladders

AMP’s The Art of Music Supervision: Theatrical Trailers | Saturday, Oct. 9, 4pm PDT
Brian Vickers, Music Supervisor, Walt Disney Studios’
Reuben Sears, SVP, Trailers and Promos, SILO Music
Evelin Garcia, Music Director, Wild Card Creative Group
Moderator: Tony Scudellari, Senior VP Television Music, Sony Pictures Entertainment

MUSIC BC’s SOUNDOFF | Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:30pm PDT
Presented by Music BC
Aamina Gant, Music Supervisor
Janine Scalise Boyd, Music Supervisor, Moxie Music
Evelin Garcia, Music Supervisor, Wild Card Creative Group
Everton Lewis, Jr., Music Supervisor
Moderator: Rob Calder, AMP Curator, Secret Study
Moderator: Tony Scudellari, Senior VP Television Music, Sony Pictures Entertainment

AMP Master Class: The Music for Daughter of a Lost Bird | Sunday, Oct. 10, 2pm PDT
Laura Ortman, Composer, Daughter of a Lost Bird
Brooke Pepion Swaney, Director, Daughter of a Lost Bird
Moderator: Rob Calder, AMP Curator, Secret Study
Host: Tony Scudellari, Senior VP Television Music, Sony Pictures Entertainment

AMP’s The Art of Composition: Scoring Epically | Sunday, Oct. 10, 4pm PDT
Laura Karpman, Composer, Ask Your MamaWhat If…?Lovecraft Country
Natalie Holt, Composer, Loki
Moderator: Adrian Ellis, Composer and Sound Composers Guild of Canada Vice President

AMP Closing Keynote | Sunday, Oct. 10, 7:30pm PDT
Laura Karpman, Composer, Ask Your MamaWhat If…?Lovecraft Country
Moderator: Angela Elster, President & CEO, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Tickets and Information
VIFF Connect Single Tickets for Films and Talks: $10
VIFF Connect Festival Pass: $80 Regular / $110 Household
VIFF In-Cinema Single Tickets for Films and Talks: $15
VIFF In-Cinema Special Presentations: $17
VIFF Limited Edition Festival Pass: $725
40th Anniversary 4-Ticket Pack: $48 Regular / $32 Student / $44 Senior
VIFF AMP Pass In-person: $75 Regular / $25 Student
VIFF AMP Pass Online: $25 Regular / $15 Student
Totally Indie Day In-person: $45 Regular / $25 Student
Totally Indie Day Online: $25 Regular / $15 Student
VIFF Immersed: Free
Single tickets and passes available at
To explore VIFF’s complete 2021 programming, visit
VIFF’s health and safety protocols — in strict compliance with provincial health orders — can be viewed HERE.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.